Reflecting On A Blogging Milestone

by derek on August 1, 2008 · 32 comments

Blog Growth

Think back to when you first started your blog. You’re most likely remembering how you had a habit of checking your stats every, oh I don’t know, five, maybe six seconds.
Every time a new visitor would arrive at your blog, your smile would grow a little wider. When someone left a comment, you came close to wetting yourself. And don’t get me started about the first time that another blog linked to one of your posts!
As the months drift by, you find yourself checking your stats every five or six minutes…then hours, okay maybe it doesn’t go that far. While you continue to check the numbers, you are no longer obsessed about them; instead focusing on building relationships with all of your readers and sharing copious amounts of link love.
Where am I going with all of this?
Well, for those that have been around for awhile, you will remember that for the first thirteen months that this blog existed, I provided a monthly blog recap that took a look at a handful of popular blog metrics.
For some reason, maybe it had something to do with the number 13, I began to obsess less about checking the numbers and focused more of my attention on cultivating the growth of the blog. As I am about to share with you, by diverting my attention away from the numbers and towards all of you, I have reached what I consider to be a rather significant blogging milestone.
What is the blogging milestone?

Surpassing 5,000 unique visitors and 10,000 pageviews.

It seems like a decade ago that I had set a goal of reaching 3,500 unique visits and 6,000 pageviews. In addition to the goals for unique visits and pageviews, I had a goal of reaching 150, and then 200, RSS subscribers.
The goal of 200 RSS subscribers has been surpassed as well.
For the month of July, I have achieved the following milestones in the history of this blog:

  • 5,788 unique vists
  • 11,261 pageviews
  • 242 RSS subscribers

Looking further into the reports from Google Analytics, comparing the months of June and July reveals the following improvements as well:

  • 27% increase in unique visits
  • 32% increase in pageviews
  • 4% increase in pages per visit
  • 24% increase in average time spent on site
  • 12% decrease in bounce rate

More people are visiting the blog; they’re staying longer; they’re viewing more pages; and the bounce rate is dropping.
Looking at the top ten visited posts for the month and the corresponding bounce rate, I see numbers along the lines of 19% bounce rate, 20% bounce rate, and 37% bounce rate. The reason this is important is because it means people are viewing these pages and finding other content on the site that draws their interest, preventing them from “bouncing” off to another site.

Without all of you, I would not have reached these milestones.

Each and every one of you have played a significant role in helping me achieve these milestones, for which I say thank you! Through your comments, 619 of them in July, and referring traffic my way, you have all helped this blog grow.
The best part is that this is just the beginning!
We’ll continue to explore topics that are of interest to you, as well as have some fun, occasionally some dirty fun. Each and every month, there will continue to be link love shared with regular readers and newcomers alike. We will continue to conduct our Q&A Sessions and battle the urge to be a lazy blogger.
There will be more contests, such as the one currently running where you can win a free pass to BlogWorld Expo and a free blog consultation.
Just so you do not miss any of the fun, I’d like you to subscribe for updates if you have not done so already. In addition, as this site continues to grow, now is a great time to take advantage of the advertising opportunities to gain exposure for your own site.
Again, thank you all for everything and lets continue to build on this success!
Photo credit: iChaz

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Phil@Chinese Dragon Belt Buckle August 1, 2008 at 8:59 pm

I found it’s very easy to get caught in the trap of spending way to much time on the stats. I forget to do the actual work that gets the stats climbing and would rather over analyze the stats. But consistent work brings results.
Probably most are the opposite but I love the numbers. So I guess you’ve touched on something totally new, writing about the numbers and having the best of both worlds.
Phil

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derek August 5, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Writing about the numbers certainly does give an opportunity to check them, although I have found that since I know I will be checking them on a periodic basis for posts like this that I don’t need to check them quite as often.

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Ling@Uptake August 1, 2008 at 10:00 pm

You know, the bounce rate thing is probably the most important of the lot. take that into account, and most people’s traffic would be actually about 20% of what the stats show.

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Desmond@GradeMoney.com August 1, 2008 at 10:19 pm

This blog is an adult now! 😉
Desmonds last blog post..Forget AdSense and Paid Reviews

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Kelvin Kao@Puppet Kaos August 2, 2008 at 5:03 am

Ah, this calls for another parody…
Nah, just kidding.

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Larry @ Commercial Lighting August 2, 2008 at 8:56 am

Congrats…those are really respectable numbers!

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Nicole Price August 2, 2008 at 9:10 am

Congratulations. I am very happy for you. I intend studying my blog the way that you have done yours. See? By coming here, I learn something or the other quite often! So, it is true that it takes two to tango! All the best.
Nicole Prices last blog post..Custom T-shirts

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Jaxson@Tool Belts August 2, 2008 at 2:37 pm

I just started my first blog ever and am suffering from checking my stats every 5 minutes. This post you made will keep me motivated to keep my blog up with new content and try to build my readership. Thanks.

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Nick@romandock dot com August 2, 2008 at 8:21 pm

I agree that many people probably spend waaayy too much time checking stats and email. I know that when I first started, I did, in fact the first part of this post could have been talking about me. Now, however, I rarely log in to my analytics account and (like you said) focus more on the networking and conversation. It is more fun and less stressful!
Congrats on your accoplishments though! Those are some pretty impressive numbers.
Nicks last blog post..Randy Pausch Has Passed Away

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derek August 5, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Thanks! It is funny that when we obsess so much about the numbers, they fail to grow but as soon as we divert attention to what is really important, the numbers take care of themselves. It’s the old saying about a watched pot never boils, or something like that. 🙂

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pauletet August 3, 2008 at 12:31 am

Congratulations to you Derek:) More success!

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willy August 3, 2008 at 9:47 am

i hope my blog can have the same stats one day! you do a great job.
willys last blog post..Moving From Beginner To Intermediate Level Bodybuilding

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betshopboy August 3, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Congrats for reaching such a significant blogging milestone! Those are some pretty impressive stats!
The first part of this post reminds me of myself during the early days, but I’ve past that obsessive phase and now focusing on networking and building relationships with readers and fellow bloggers.
betshopboys last blog post..Beyond The Game

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Ribeezie August 4, 2008 at 1:18 am

Derek: Congratulations on the awesome milestone!!! Feels great doesn’t it??
Anyway, congratulations again! Here’s a toast to a continuously growing and thriving community…
Ribeezies last blog post..Quote of the Day: Keep it simple…

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olly@Guitar Tab Books August 4, 2008 at 5:00 am

Well it looks like your blog is heading in the right direction and growing nicely!
Congrats and keep up the good work – you have anew subscriber today so try not to wet yourself!

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derek August 5, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Lol, I’ll try not to but it is always great to hear from a new subscriber!

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Justin@Airsoft Guns August 4, 2008 at 5:52 am

Those are huge increases for just one month. I’ve noticed that when your site is young, you do get so excited about small increases. When things get bigger, the changes get much more exciting as well. Good job!

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Larry @ Commercial Lighting August 4, 2008 at 6:25 am

What do you most attribute your success to?

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derek August 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Consistency, willingness to help other people, being honest and genuine with others. That makes for a great foundation at least. But much of the success goes to all of you.

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Futon-Matt August 4, 2008 at 8:09 am

Those numbers are pretty impressive Derek.
Congrats
🙂

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Daisy August 4, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Congrats on your success Derek! You have earned it. The obvious question would be: What’s your new blogging milestone?

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derek August 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Hmm…good question, lets shoot for double the current stats.

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Steve@Free iPods August 5, 2008 at 11:36 am

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, congrats Derek.
I’m kinda interested in the advertising but hear so much about Google penalties. What is the risk (to the buyer)?

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derek August 5, 2008 at 3:27 pm

As a buyer I don’t see quite as much risk, although by no means do I understand the process that the G follows with regard to links (whether buying or selling).

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peter@Peter Answers August 5, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Great numbers! This is a reminder for me to get more granural wih my goals and tracking for my website. Looksing back its great to see how far you have come.
peters last blog post..Ask Jud Google Search

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Damien August 8, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Great job on the rss subscribers. That has become one of my recent challenges. Postcards hovers between 80-100. I’ll likely be adding that to my monthly goals for September. It would seem that is more telling than most assessments of blog success in that it simply indicates the number of people clicking the text of what you write.
Still, success is self-defined as you know very well.
I enjoy watching you exceed your goals. Keep it up buddy and thanks for all the help you give me!

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Eva White August 11, 2008 at 1:04 am

I used to think I was the only one so obsessed with my blog stats that I checked on it every half hour during the day, now I know better. I also congratulate you on your amazing achievement.

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thinkdave@Small business web site maintenance August 17, 2008 at 1:30 pm

It looks like you’re doing a good job. Healthy numbers and a healthy community. Two things every well-written blog deserves.
Incidentally, I still check stats every few hours. I’m not sure what I’m expecting to see, but I keep doing it nonetheless.

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